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Bad rookie luck: Henrique out of action with groin pull

Jan 14, 2012, 2:17 PM EDT

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Adam Henrique Getty Images

The Devils were already dealing with life without Travis Zajac as he tries to get his Achilles tendon healthy, but tonight they’ll be without rookie sensation Adam Henrique as well.

Henrique will miss tonight’s game against Winnipeg with a groin pull according to head coach Peter DeBoer. Rich Chere of The Star-Ledger  reports that Nick Palmieri will rejoin the Devils lineup and Dainius Zubrus will move into the middle once again to play center.

“I’m disappointed we’re missing three centermen right now and guys have to fill in,” DeBoer said. “That’s how it goes. It’s a war of attrition here in the NHL. You have to do what you have to do and in this case Zubrus is going to have to go in and play some center. He’s done it before. Hopefully we won’t miss a beat.”

The Devils’ depth up the middle was looking awfully good when Zajac initially returned. With Zajac, Henrique, and Elias all playing well up the middle, the Devils centers were set to be some of the best in the league. Now they’re dealing with injuries that leave them a bit hampered offensively.

Henrique has been challenging injured Oilers rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for top honors as a first year player. If Henrique manages to miss more than today’s game, that will throw a wrench into the Calder Trophy race.

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